On Being Alone Together

Written by mitch on. Posted in Uncategorized

How many of you like… I mean, really LIKE traveling on business?
That’s what I thought! It’s like asking how many of you like to sleep alone… Or, eat alone… Or, sit in a room filled with strangers… alone.
I know I don’t like it: like, as in relish or look forward to.
The airlines have taken the joy and excitement – Well, maybe not the excitement! – out of flying anywhere. After all, half the time you won’t know whether or not you’re actually going to get where you are going until you arrive at the airport and find out whether or not your flight has been  cancelled or how long it’s been delayed. Even when everything goes smoothly you can be reasonably certain you’ll be press-fit between two individuals, who like everything else in our society, have been super-sized. Or, you are wedged up against the window. Or, you wind up sitting on the aisle getting your foot, knee, shoulder or elbow bruised and bloodied every time the food cart  moves up or down because the aisles are too narrow because the seats are too damned close together. GRRRRRRRRRR!
Add to that the screaming infants, 4th grade field trip classes or being forced to sit next to the ‘goat herder’ and his family, and you have an experience everyone could live very nicely without!                  
How many of you have ever wondered about the safety announcements. I mean, really: how many people are there in the world who have never fastened a seat belt before… But, after the last few trips, I’m willing to bet there are lots of people who have never flown before. In fact, I’ll bet there are lots of people flying who have never been in the company of civilized human beings before. If they have, they sure act like they haven’t!
Now, I am just sitting here in a hotel room just outside Philadelphia waiting for an 11:00 A.M. conference call to come through. After that, it’s lunch with a shop owner who will be attending the meeting I’ll keynote later on this evening, and then back to the hotel. Following that, it’s “Lather, Rinse, Repeat!”
The same thing tomorrow evening: An instant replay in a different community.
I know… I know… Quite whining! If you don’t like it: Don’t do it!
Great advice! But, there is a problem. While I can’t stand traveling for all the reasons identified above, I do love helping other shop owners. And, one of the most effective ways to help them is to be where they are: to be up close and personal. So, every so often I find myself sitting alone in a hotel room waiting: waiting to eat, waiting to be picked up, waiting to present, or just waiting to come home.
The only thing that makes any of it worthwhile is knowing there will be someone there this evening who really needs to hear what I have to say: who really wants to hear what anyone speaking directly to them has to say. 

They need to know they are not alone and that’s why I do it, even if it means sitting here alone to get it done…

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

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